• Blogs

    June 3, 2014

    Hoodlab will be leaving its home on Larimer at the end of July

    Hoodlab will be leaving its home in RiNo next month. The owners of the HoodLamb clothing line, which celebrates hemp and got its start in Amsterdam, moved their business into the building at 33rd and Larimer streets almost two years ago, and quickly turned it into a gathering place known for art, cu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2014

    FL's new album is about more than weed: "I wanted to show the best qualities of the city"

    Like many who call Denver home, Jayce "FL" Cabell of hip-hop collective the Foodchain enjoys weed. But the reason his most recent album, Young Amsterdam, includes plenty of marijuana imagery and was released on 4/20 has more to do with the interest in Colorado's weed culture than it does with his ow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2014

    The best concerts in Denver this week

    FRI | ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS at RED ROCKS | 1/31/14 More than misogyny or materialism, intelligence and verbal skill are championed by Jurassic 5; the vocabulary is impressive and the verbal acrobatics the guys perform are outstanding. J5 carries the energy and excitement of a newer era gro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2013

    The best concerts in Denver this week

    TUES | WU YEAR'S EVE at CERVANTES | 12/31/13 More than just creating a free-associative style that would be emulated ceaselessly throughout the '90s and to this very day, the Wu-Tang Clan engineered an aesthetic and model for profitability with only a spiritual guide, the GZA, a mastermind producer, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2013

    The ten best mixtapes DJs of all time

    Over the last decade or so, mixtapes have revolutionized the rap game and altered how marketing in general is approached. Not only have the rappers received substantial acclaim, but the DJs have realized just as much stardom. Although there are numerous DJs -- guys like Statik Selektah, Trap-A-Holic ... More >>

  • News

    April 18, 2013
  • Blogs

    April 16, 2013

    The 4/20 party list: Where to get your, ahem, green on in Denver this holiday weekend

    This Saturday is poised to be the most celebrated day in our state's history, what with this being the first 4/20 since Amendment 64 was passed and all. Some of music's most heralded imbibers are being shipped in just to help the local stoners celebrate in style, from Slightly Stoopid and Cypress Hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

    The ten best storytellers in hip-hop

    The art of storytelling has existed since before recorded history, so it's somewhat surprising that the practice didn't take off in hip-hop, an originally oral tradition, until the late '80s. Since rappers discovered just how captivating a well-told story could be, the storytelling track has become ... More >>

  • Music

    November 29, 2012

    Action Bronson

    Wednesday, November 28, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399; Thursday, November 29, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2012

    Why do musicians endorse candidates?

    There's probably a certain amount of sincerity involved when a famous musician endorses a political candidate. But even the most un-cynical, democracy-loving patriot will have to admit that there's a hell of a lot more to the rock star/candidate public union than just fiscal policy. Endorsing a poli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2012

    In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane

    Today's election marks a potentially monumental day for our state. With Amendment 64 on the ballot, Colorado is on the cusp of being the first state to regulate marijuana like alcohol. In honor of what could be a historic moment in the legislative annals of the Centennial State, we've compiled ten o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2012

    Photos: Dave Matthews at Community College of Aurora stumping for President Obama, 11/4/12

    You've got to hand it to whoever is in charge of coordinating talent for Obama's Colorado appearances, particularly the grassroots event last night at Community College of Aurora featuring Dave Matthews. It was a shrewd move tapping Mr. Matthews to stump for the Prez. That's one way of wooing the Ce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2012

    The Head and the Heart at CU Boulder, 11/1/12

    THE HEAD AND THE HEART @ COORS EVENT CENTER | 11/1/12 President Obama's speech last night at the University of Colorado's Coors Event Center marked the umpteenth time the Commander in Chief has stopped in the Centennial State this campaign season -- just last week, he was touting his record in Denv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2012

    Photos: The Romney/Ryan Victory Rally with Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins at Red Rocks

    Last night at Red Rocks, presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan held their optimistically titled Victory Rally at Red Rocks. More than 10,000 people reportedly showed up and thousands were turned away. Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins both played a batch of acoustic songs. According to Brandon Ma ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2012

    #ShitRappersSay on stage in Denver

    The next few days kick off what will no doubt be a summer of hip-hop shows to remember in the Mile High City: Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli (as Black Star) will be swooping through the town this weekend, as will Drake on his Club Paradise Tour, featuring J.Cole, Waka Flocka, 2Chainz, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Fresh local hip-hop from BLKHRTS, Subculture Icons, Mr. Midas with SP Double and more

    We've got a slew of new hip-hop to share with you this week: BLKHRTS collaborate with Rockie and Innerstate Ike on FOE's joint, "My Team Winning," Six O'Clock and friends, meanwhile, represent the underground with their Mobb Deep/Alchemist-esque joint as Subculture Icons, Fort Collins MC Moss gets h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2012

    The Wu-Tang Clan forever changed the game

    Heavily inspired by mob movies and king-fu cinema, Wu-tang Clan began in Staten Island, the brainchild of the brilliantly sharp RZA, who brought his brothers and their talents together to form a hip-hop conglomerate whose rhymes are as much based on the science of everything in life as they are abou ... More >>

  • News

    February 16, 2012
  • Blogs

    February 7, 2012

    Sounds of Blackness: J Dilla

    Happy birthday, J Dilla!​Ah, J Dilla. His influence and production style brought forth beatmakers carrying their backpacks filled with treasures from the basement into the mainstream. Even more so after his death. A cult-like following surrounds his legacy. Born James Dewitt Yancey in February ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2011

    Review: Yelawolf at the Bluebird, 10/4/11

    YELAWOLF at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 10/4/11Yelawolf put his country grammar on full blast last night at the Bluebird on the first stop of his two day tour through Colorado (Yelawolf's due tonight at the Fox Theatre in Boulder). The Alabama MC stalked onto the stage amid deep-blue lighting and tons of smo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2011

    Mile Highlights: Shows announced/on-sale this week, local radio playlists and top local sellers

    ​ Here's what's good in the Mile High City this week. On the concert front: The Flaming Lips have announced a co-headlining date with Primus this August at Red Rocks. Kenny Chesney is also at the Rocks in July, and Panic! at the Disco is due at the Ogden in June. Meanwhile on local radio, Air ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2011

    SIA Tradeshow and Denver BigAir: Things to do in Denver if you're not a pro or a badgeholder

    Britt Chester​ By now you've seen the monstrosity that's been constructed at Civic Center Park. Turns out it wasn't a mini-skyscraper skyscraper after all. It's a ramp, as you can see here in the photo taken just a bit ago from the top of structure by our always intrepid scribe and resident d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2011

    Hip-Hop Covers: The Wu-Tang Clan tribute at the Walnut Room

    You're familiar with the Wu Tang Clan, we presume? Yeah? Meet the Ru Tang clan. Okay, that's not the name these ladies are going by, but it seems like a fitting enough handle seeing as how our own Ru Johnson is helping put together this very special show at the Walnut Room this Saturday, January 2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2010

    On sale this weekend: A Day to Remember, Circle Jerks and Yanni

    ​A Day to Remember and Bring Me the Horizon are co-headlining The Game Changers Tour, slated to stop at the Fillmore Auditorium on Sunday, March 27. We Came as Romans and Pierce the Veil are also on the bill. Tickets ($35.25) go on sale this Saturday, December 18 at 10 a.m.

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Wiz Khalifa at the Ogden Theatre - 10/07/10

    ​ WIZ KHALIFA With Yelawolf 10.07.10 | Ogden Theatre Last night at the Ogden Theatre for the Denver leg of the Waken Baken tour, Wiz Khalifa completely set it off. The scene at the beginning of the night was set by throngs of teenage girls in Wiz Khalifa shirts, mixed in with a thick crowd t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2010

    If President Obama has a thing for hip-hop, here are five artists to add to his iPod

    ​In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, our president revealed that his music palette has expanded slightly in recent years with a little help from his personal aide, Reggie Love. New additions to his usual standbys of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones include Nas and Lil' Wayne. It's a lit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    Grinderman, RJD2 and Dismemberment Plan fill our playlists this week

    ​As people who think about, talk about, listen to and make music, the most common question we encounter is, "What are you listening to right now?" So whether you're looking for recommendations, trying to get a feel for our individual sensibilities, or are just curious, we've compiled a list of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    Top Five reuses of Teddy Pendergrass Songs

    ​It was sad news when we found out Teddy Pendergrass had died on Wednesday of colon cancer. As others began collecting the best of his songs into comprehensive and downright exhaustive lists, we started thinking about who had used his sultry baritone or music for other ends. His songs have bee ... More >>

  • Music

    December 31, 2009
  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    Tom Waits top seller at Twist and Shout

    ​Apparently there was a bit of a fight between Tom Waits' Glitter & Doom Live and Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream last week at Twist & Shout, and fortunately, Waits, who turned sixty yesterday, was the victor. Blakroc, the Black Keys' new hip-hop project, came in third, while Them Crooked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 1, 2009

    Freeloader: "I Don't Know" by Brikabrak and Naeem Oba

    ​Earlier today, we posted a Q&A with Brikabrak and Naeem Oba, and now we present you with a free track from the pair to download. Built upon a beat laid down by King Karnov, the track, "I Don't Know," centers on Naeem Oba's rhymes, which he recorded at CCM studios on Colfax, and Brikabrak's de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2009

    Q&A with Krispy Kream of the Knux

    ​Don't let the tight jeans and thick-rimmed glasses fool you. The brothers who make up The Knux were raised about as far away from the suburbs as you can get: New Orleans' Ninth Ward. Still, Krispy Kream and Rah Almillio (aka Kentrell and Alvin Lindsey) found their sound by listening to just a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: ManeLine, Hip-Hop Stars React to Obama win, Shakir Stewart Suicide, Mos Def

    LOCALS ONLY Since releasing their debut album, Til Then... last year, ManeLine, which consists of Mane Rok, InkLine and DeeJay Tense, have been on a tear locally doing show after show and even helping get monthly local hip-hop nights going at Herb’s Hideout (Everybody Eats) and the Marquis Theate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: DJ Vajra, Lil Wayne, Nate Dogg, 50 Cent vs. Kanye: Pt. 2?

    Photo: Resonating Art Meet DJ Vajra, your favorite DJ's favorite DJ LOCALS ONLY DJ Vajra isn't just one of the best turntablists in Colorado -- he's one of the best in the nation. Vajra was recently tapped to do a showcase at this year’s DMC World Finals at London's indigO2 on Saturday, Septemb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: Nyke Nitti, Dr. Dre, The Game, DMX

    Nyke Nitti gets in where he fits in. LOCALS ONLY Nyke Nitti (formerly Nyke Loc) has been putting in work in the local scene for over a decade. His biggest project came around 2000, with the release of Mob Life on his Str8 Check’n imprint. The album scored a solid distribution deal to more than ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2008
  • Blogs

    June 10, 2008

    Q&A With The RZA

    The Backbeat section of Westword’s June 12 edition is dominated by updates and details about the annual Westword Music Showcase, as well it should be. But strange as it might seem, there are other notable musical happenings taking place around town during the week, including a Saturday, June 14 pe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2008
  • Blogs

    April 18, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: 25 Colorado Rappers Spit on One Song

    Joe Thunder isn’t known for his skills behind the mic. He isn’t known for creating hot beats either. He’s more likely to just listen to records than mix and scratch them. And you’ll catch him nodding his head before he’d bust out in a backspin. So what does Joe Thunder really do? He’s a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2008

    Friday Rap-Up: The Pirate Signal, Remy Ma, Tupac, Diddy, 50 Cent

    LOCALS ONLY In 2006 The Pirate Signal, consisting of rapper-producer Yonnas and DJ A-What, released a self-titled EP that brought a breath of fresh air to the Colorado hip-hop scene. But because the stagnation most hip-hop artists face here in the Mile High, Yonnas moved to Brooklyn, New York, with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 29, 2008

    The Friday Rap-Up: DJ Low Key, Jay-Z, KRS-One, Buckshot, Dr. Dre

    Locals Only DJ Low Key is doing big things in Denver right now. The last year was a big one for the Basementalism Radio Show alum and 2008 is looking to be just as big. He ended 2007 having his mixtape Median’s Relief in the Making (hosted by 9th Wonder) on several critical year-end lists and he ... More >>

  • Music

    December 27, 2007

    Critics' Picks for 2007

    Backbeat scribes sound off on their favorite releases of the past year.

  • Music

    December 6, 2007

    Wu-Tang Clan

    8 Diagrams

  • Music

    August 3, 2006

    Déjà Wu

    What's up with the Wu-Tang Clan paying homage to Stapleton and Park Hill?

  • Music

    July 24, 2003

    The Beatdown

    Four elements make one movement.

  • Music

    July 27, 2000


    Mike V puts on his Gameface.

  • Music

    December 30, 1999

    Judgment Day

    Backbeat contributors offer up their favorite recordings of 1999.

  • Music

    April 2, 1998
  • Music

    July 31, 1997
  • Music

    May 9, 1996
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